Welcome to my site: its primary function is to serve as a repository for my publications (technical papers, book reviews and some popular and semi-popular articles). Please go here for access to these.
I’m a vertebrate palaeontologist currently based at the University of Southampton, UK. I work on dinosaurs (especially theropods and sauropods), pterosaurs, fossil marine reptiles and other vertebrate animals. Current areas (early 2013) of special interest include the diversity of European azhdarchoid pterosaurs, ichthyosaur evolution across the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary, the anatomy and phylogeny of Early Cretaceous theropod dinosaurs, the timing of the theropod and avian radiation, sexual selection theory as applied to fossil animals, and the flight behaviour of feathered dinosaurs. See my publication list for relevant published work. See links below for news stories concerning my research.
My research has been published in Journal of Zoology, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, PLOS ONE, Biology Letters, Journal of Systematic Palaeontology and Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. Google Scholar currently lists my overall h-index at 15 and i10-rating at 19.
Books, popular writing and consultancy
I produce technical research on dinosaurs, marine reptiles and other animals, but I also write popular articles for magazines, including Scientific American and BBC Focus. I have written or contributed to over ten books. Some are written for a technical audience (Dinosaurs of the Isle of Wight, co-written with David Martill, and Dinosaurs and Other Extinct Saurians: A Historical Perspective, co-edited with Richard Moody, Eric Buffetaut and David Martill) but most are popular books written for older children and interested adults. They include Walking With Dinosaurs: The Evidence (co-authored with David Martill; BBC Books, 2001), The Great Dinosaur Discoveries (A&C Black/University of California Press, 2009), Dinosaur Record Breakers (Carlton Book, 2011), and All Yesterdays (co-authored with John Conway and C. M. Kosemen, Lulu Books, 2012). Other books are currently underway.
From 1997 to 2006 I worked on the predatory dinosaurs of the Lower Cretaceous of southern England, focusing for my PhD on the tyrannosauroid Eotyrannus. Since completing my PhD I’ve worked in the media (I worked for London-based media company Impossible Pictures during 2007), as a technical editor, a freelance author, and as a lecturer. Our masters course in vertebrate palaeontology at the University of Southampton has been running since October 2012; I’ve been providing lectures on much of vertebrate diversity for this course (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals).
I write extensively about amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals (living and extinct) for my blog, Tetrapod Zoology, currently hosted at Scientific American. Tetrapod Zoology (= Tet Zoo) is one of the most-read zoological blogs in the world. Tet Zoo ver 2 – hosted at ScienceBlogs between 2007 and 2011 – received over 7 million hits during that period.
I spend as much time in the field as possible, looking at live animals. I have conducted palaeontological fieldwork in England (Isle of Wight, East Sussex, Yorkshire coast), north Africa (Morocco and Libya) and Romania.
Lecturing and public speaking
I also have extensive experience lecturing to both technical and popular audiences. I regularly give talks to local groups and societies on zoological and palaeontological topics: talks of recent months have included those on the biology of pterosaurs, sexual selection theory as applied to dinosaurs, the reality or otherwise of sea monsters, the history of European big cats, the British big cat phenomenon, and the evolution of marine reptiles.
I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. I tweet: @TetZoo. Recent research and other news is typically reported at Tetrapod Zoology.
Online news articles about my research
- Dinosaur theory provides insight into evolution of bird flight (Telegraph, Sept 2013)
- Dinosaur in a wind tunnel tests feathered flight (New Scientist, Sept 2013)
- New Sea Monster Found, Rewrites Evolution? (National Geographic, May 2013)
- ‘Out of Time’ Fossil Reveals Ancient Ocean Diversity (LiveScience, May 2013)
- Fossil Saved from Mule Track Revolutionizes Understanding of Ancient Dolphin-Like Marine Reptile (ScienceDaily, May 2013)
- Flying Transylvanian dinosaur unearthed by scientists (Telegraph, Feb 2013)
- Bet he had sharp teeth! Scientists discover prehistoric Transylvanian reptile that walked on all fours and had a 3m wingspan (MailOnline, Feb 2013)
- Fossil of Flying Dino-Age Reptile Found (LiveScience, Feb 2013)
- Survival of the Prettiest: Sexual Selection Can Be Inferred from the Fossil Record (ScienceDaily, Jan 2013)
- Sexual Selection Can Be Inferred From The Fossil Record (RedOrbit, Jan 2013)
- German marine reptile find rewrites fossil record (BBC News, Jan 2012)
- Dino-era disaster: Multiple drowned toothy birds (NBCNews, Nov 2011)
- Findings show ancient birds died in flash flood (PhysOrg.com, Nov 2011)
- Sussex fossil collector finds ‘smallest’ dinosaur (BBC News, June 2011)
- 1ft dinosaur discovered by amateur fossil hunter (Mirror, June 2011)
- Smallest Dinosaur Ever? ‘Ashdown Maniraptoran’ Fossil May Be Tiniest Ever Found (Huffington Post, June 2011)
- Maths formula proves giraffes can swim (The Telegraph, June 2010)
- Giraffes can swim, though poorly: study (CBC News, June 2010)
- Giant Dinosaur Posture Is All Wrong: Sauropods Held Their Heads High, Research Finds (ScienceDaily, May 2009)
- Natural History Museum’s sauropod exhibit ‘anatomically wrong’ (The Telegraph, May 2009)
- Giant Flyers Hunted Dinos on Foot? (National Geographic, 2008)
- Untouched on a shelf for 113 years: a dusty bone of the dinosaur no one knew existed (Guardian, Nov 2007)
- Fossil is new family of dinosaur (BBC News, Nov 2007)